1897 – Lasseter finds his elusive gold reef – or does he?

It’s one of the great legends of the Australian outback: Harold Lasseter’s lost gold reef has inspired blizzards of writing and several expeditions.

The story is that Lasseter discovered a large gold reef somewhere on the border of West Australia and the Northern Territory, while travelling overland from Alice Springs to Perth in 1897.

But here’s the thing: no one even looked for it until 1930, when Lasseter finally managed to persuade some backers to return to the Northern Territory. Lasseter was secretive, by all accounts, and eventually wandered off by himself, to die in the desert.

No gold was ever found in the area – and later surveys showed that the gold Lasseter had claimed to find there actually came from Kalgoorlie, thousands of miles to the south, and that it was geologically impossible for gold to be found in the area Lasseter claimed it was from.

Referenced in:

Warakurna – Midnight Oil